Quite often I have run into situations where I had an extensive talk with a newbie (about SO and/or programming itself) using the comments. Since you shouldn't use the comments to further discuss things (which are often off topic from the original question), I'd like to use the chat for those discussions.

As a matter of fact if you do use the comments to discuss something, you get a notification which tells you to move the discussion to a chat-room.

Unfortunately, most of those users don't have the required 20 reputations to talk in chat, so you also get this fancy orange box telling you that you can't move the discussion. This normally leads to using the comments again.

Don't get me wrong at this point, I'm NOT asking you to change this (I actually think it's a good thing).

My idea would be, that a user who has enough reps to talk in the Chat should be able to invite a user who doesn't have enough reps into a private Chat-room (just for the two of them).

The user with the <20 reps would only be able to talk in this very room, e.g. would receive a "temporary privilege".

Edit As nhinkle pointed out, this is already possible but you need to be Moderator and it requires multiple steps. This gave me the impression that it shouldn't be that difficult to realize.

  • 10
    I've heard multiple complaints that people have moved a comment thread to chat only to find the user could not chat due to low rep. If possible it would be nice if invited chats were open to basically any (invited) person to avoid the rep barrier.
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 0:24
  • @BenBrocka: Do you have an example? This simply shouldn't happen, because the "moving to chat" is refused if one of the two doesn't have the rep.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 11:01
  • @balpha I haven't done it myself, people may have tried to move something to chat but failed because of the rep limit.
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 17:38
  • 12
    This issue is really beginning to bug me. SO keeps on nagging me to move comment threads with new users to chat, then telling me I can't because they don't have the rep. Quit nagging me to move the conversation if you won't then let me - or preferably, automatically give the user special permission to enter the auto-created chat channel. Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


Diamond moderators only can add <20 rep users to chat. Here is what you must do:

  1. The user must create an account on chat. All they have to do is go to chat.stackexchange.com, and they should be automatically logged in. If they aren't, have them go to stackexchange.com/users/chat-login, where they can log in via the alternate login method.
  2. Once the user has a chat account, all you have to do is add them to the room's access list. Click on the room dropdown, then click on control access.

control access

Enter the user's username, then click the arrow dropdown next to their usercard to add them to the write access list.


  1. Tada! The user now has access to the chat room, even if they have less than 20 reputation! If they're already viewing the chat room while logged in, it will refresh and they will be able to chat.
  • 11
    This seems quite complicated for a normal user to go through just to start a chat with a new user.
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 1:08
  • @BenBrocka I agree that it's somewhat difficult, but currently that's how it works. Hopefully the developers will implement a way to make it easier to invite new users to chat, but in the meantime, this is the best workaround.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 1:09
  • 1
    This defiantly works, but only clicking the link under the comments would be much easier :D Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 10:46
  • 13
    This only works because you're a moderator, nhinkle. Non-moderators aren't allowed to circumvent the 20-rep limit.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 10:59
  • 2
    @balpha Is there a question explaining why this is? Over on AU we had quite a sweat trying to figure out how to help a certain new user in chat, since all the options were there, they just didn't work.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 21:21
  • 1
    @balpha found this question while searching for a similar problem on meta. Just wanted to point out that the message shown in the access control page never mentions diamond mods, giving the impression that room owners should be able to bypass the limit too.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 12:12

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